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Pawn Play in the Endgame

Pawn Play in the Endgame Team Tarafından

Pawns play important roles in all phases of the game, but it's in the ending that it becomes obvious they are the stars of the show.  If you remember how to handle them you'll enjoy chess more and score more victories. Good Luck, IM John Grefe, 1973 U.S. Champion

  • A Cool Rule: "The Square"

    In the real world, kings rule poets and pop stars, hipsters and squares. Chessic monarchs, however, must toe the line according to the "Rule of the Square". The rule is a quick, easy and reliable shortcut to figuring out whether the King can catch passed...

    • 3 meydan okuma
  • The "Opposition": An "Odd" Proposition

    In order to promote a passed pawn that's blockaded by the defending King, it's necessary for the attacking King to win control of the queening square. Knocking the blocking King out of the way is usually accomplished by gaining The Opposition. When...

    • 9 meydan okuma
  • Last-Minute Save

    Endgames are often deceptive. Their outward simplicity often conceals a wealth of subtleties which go unnoticed. Thanks to understanding the "opposition" Black finds a hidden save.

    • 11 meydan okuma
  • Tricks of the Trade

    The side which is a clear, healthy pawn up should always be alert for opportunities to simplify into more easily won positions. Knowing for certain which basic endings are won, and how to bring the point home, are the keys to achieving more victories.

    • 4 meydan okuma
  • Who Queens First?

    When both sides have passers dashing for home, tactical tricks often decide matters.

    • 4 meydan okuma
  • A Stunning Finish Worthy of the X-Files

    Will both sides queen? Does it matter? This puzzle was inspired by the last-round game Karklins-Kavalek, El Paso 1973. It decided first place in the U.S. Invitational Championship, a round-robin contested by the country's top players.

    • 3 meydan okuma
  • A Passed Pawn's Best Friend

    Passed pawns come in a variety of flavors: Connected, protected, split, or single. They're all good, but which, if any, are best? This example shows how they can protect one another against a marauding King.

    • 4 meydan okuma
  • Creating & Preventing Passers

    With healthy mobile majorities on opposite wings the first order of business is usually creating passed pawns.

    • 8 meydan okuma
  • "Special One-Time Promotion Offer"

    Passers reaching the seventh rank spawn their own brood of unique tactical opportunities.

    • 2 meydan okuma
  • Multiple Promotions Equal Fireworks

    With 2 Queens on the board and a third looming things can get crazy.

    • 3 meydan okuma
  • "Our Majority Is Better Than Your Majority"

    Lots of pawns, separate majorities, no passers yet. We explore multiple themes: rule of the square, the breakthrough, good and bad structures, advanced pawns.

    • 4 meydan okuma
  • Worst Knightmare

    Each piece has its own special characteristics, some good, some bad.

    • 4 meydan okuma
  • When Good Bishops Go Wrong

    An old saying has it that "There's more than one way to skin a cat" I wouldn't know, but I do know a surefire way of foiling an unfriendly friar: Tuck the King into the corner.

    • 4 meydan okuma
  • How Many Queens Are Too Many?

    The philosophy "The more, the merrier" can be a good thing in some ways, bad in others. For instance, on the downside, it can lead to overpopulation. It won't help you here, either.

    • 4 meydan okuma
  • How To Develop X-Ray Vision

    Sorry, guys, the title doesn't refer to the sci-fi type of x-ray vision you might have had in mind. It's concerns some clever ways to force through a passed pawn in Rook endings.

    • 3 meydan okuma
  • Reykjavik Rattlers The Culprits?

    When minor pieces grab pawns deep in enemy territory, there's always the danger they'll become stranded. World Champion Bobby Fischer learned this when he was still wearing knickers. And yet...

    • 5 meydan okuma
  • Thundering Herd

    Not all passed pawns fit into neat little categories.

    • 5 meydan okuma
  • Lassoing A Rook

    With only a few pieces left on the board you wouldn't think a piece as powerful as the Rook could be encircled. Here's an example inspired by a game of Bobby Fischer's from the Piatigorsky Cup, played in Los Angeles in 1966.

    • 3 meydan okuma
  • Doing It The Old-Fashioned Way

    Using the rule of the square, the opposition, and so on is all well and good. But sometimes in messy pawn endings you've got to figure out who gets to queen first the old-fashioned way: by counting.

    • 7 meydan okuma
  • Lockdown!

    When an enemy piece freezes a mobile pawn by anchoring itself on the square directly in front of it (Yelling, "Police! Freeze!" never works, at least in all the TV cop shows I've ever seen) we have a blockade. However, it's really just the baby brother...

    • 4 meydan okuma
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